I woke up around 2am today. Decided to wander outside and what did I see? The first clear night in weeks! Time to practice my night sky photography. Did a series of long exposure shots (30 seconds, ISO 800, f/3.5) but could not get the focus right. This is one of the hardest things for me about shooting the night sky. Auto-focus doesn’t work, you can’t see anything through the viewfinder, and your focus has to be perfectly on infinity. Anyway, after 40 minutes of trying in 32 degree weather I gave up. Looked at my blurry star shots and thought “Hey! What if I merge all of these exposures?” This is the result. I think I like it better than the properly focused night sky shot I was trying to get. I hope you like it – now I’m going back to bed.
Saturday is the night of the “supermoon” – a full moon when it is closest to earth. Has not happened for 18 years. (Thanks to Sean for the clarification!) I don’t know if we will have clear skies on Saturday so I decided to get a shot of the almost-supermoon tonight. This was done with my Nikon D7000 camera, a tripod, and an 18-200mm zoom lens. Settings were ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125 second exposure.
Latest shots from my experiments in photographing the night sky. No telescope, just my Digital SLR camera and a tripod. Click on the images to see larger versions.
The Orion Nebula (M42).
Nikon D7000, 18-200mm lens, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 2.5 second exposure.
Pleiades star cluster.
Nikon D7000, 35mm lens, ISO 3200, f/1.8, 5 second exposure.